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Picky Gen Z to up fashion spend and fastidiousness

By Vivian Hendriksz

28 Sept 2016

Business |REPORT

London - Generation X shoppers in Birmingham and Newcastle may be the biggest fashion spenders at the moment, but it is the Generation Z consumers which remain the most frequent fashion shoppers, enjoying browsing in physical stores the most.

In contrast to their elder counterparts they are also the most positive when it comes to upping their spend over the next 12 months - and the most finicky age group when it comes to fashion shopping, according to recent research from Savills and intu.44 percent of those aged between 16 and 24, Generation Z, revealed they aim to boost their spend on fashion over the next 12 months in comparison to a mere 22 percent of consumer between 65 and 74, also known as Baby Boomers.

Generation Z consumers to increase spend on fashion...

Generation Z consumers in London were found to be the most confident on increasing their fashion spend over the next year, with 41 percent of survey respondents planning on spending more. However, in spite of these young shoppers eagerness to spend more on apparel and footwear, 50 percent feel as if there is not enough fashion choice on the market for them, according to the report Spotlight: Retail Revolutions, which analysed shopping habits by both location and age.

Unsurprisingly, 58 percent of Generation Z shoppers will turn to online shopping if they are unable to find the item they want on the high street. 35 percent were founds to be willing to visit another high street or shopping centre to find what they want, while 6 percent would not continue shopping at all. "With a robust average spend of 244 pounds, which according to those surveyed is set to grow, consumers aged 16-24 are ready and willing to spend more in physical stores, but they just don’t feel all their needs are always catered for," commented Sean Gillies, head of UK retail at Savills.

"This applies just as much in large retail destinations such as London, Manchester or Newcastle as smaller regional locations such as Northampton, Barnsley or Taunton. While multi-channel retailers may still benefit from purchases being made online, the challenge is for landlords and tenants to find the right balance and to deliver the brands and environment that the younger generations want from the physical store."

...but are the most picky with their fashion choices

On the other hand, Baby Boomers, who grew up without the internet and online shopping are naturally more inclined to shop elsewhere if they cannot find what they immediately want. 40 percent revealed they would shop in another centre or high street, while only a third would turn to e-commerce. 21 percent said they would avoid shopping altogether if they failed to find their fashion product in stores.

"What’s interesting from this research is that it shows that young people enjoy shopping as a social activity and, despite having never known anything but an omni-channel world, they still prefer visiting the high street and shopping centre," added Kate Grant, regional director, intu. "Bringing the online and physical experience closer together will ensure that all channels win in this dynamic retail environment we now live in."

The report encourages landlords across the UK to strive to curate the right shopping experience for their target audience and further afield, so they remain in stores or within the shopping centre longer. "The consequence of low consumer fulfilment is clear: if there is no obvious alternative within a reasonable distance, most consumers will opt to buy on the internet," pointed out Tom Whittington, commercial research director at Savills.

"Our research shows that where there is a good alternative, people are generally voting with their feet rather than their fingers, so it is crucial for centres and high streets to mirror consumers’ wants and needs as closely as possible."

Photos: Pexels.com